Borussia Mönchengladbach saved at least one point against 1. FSV Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga on Friday evening (October 6, 2023) thanks to a late goal from Joe Scally in a 2-2 (1-1) draw.
Florian Neuhaus headed the Gladbach team into the lead (22′), almost in return Brajan Gruda equalized with a remarkable long-range shot (24′). Aymane Barkok took the lead in the second half of the game (75th), Scally equalized late for the Gladbacher Fohlen with a long-range shot (88th).
After a cautious opening phase, it was the home team who created the first chance to score: Alassane Pléa was played wonderfully steeply on the right by Jordan Siebatcheu, but the Frenchman put the ball past the rushing Robin Zentner and the Mainz goal.
In the middle of the first half, there was celebration in the Gladbach stands: Franck Honorat crossed unhindered to Florian Neuhaus, who also scored unchallenged with a touchdown to give the home team the lead. But the cheers had not yet died down before Mainz responded. After a corner from the right, Gruda took a shot and hit the crease on the right.
Little offensive action in the second half of the game
It also took a while in the second half of the game before the spectators really saw any action. Shortly after his substitution, Nathan N’Goumou finished from a tight angle on the right and Zentner directed the ball to the corner. This, in turn, became really dangerous for the Mainz team: Ko Itakura headed the ball at knee height from the penalty spot, which the visitors’ keeper fished out of the corner.
After a weak shot from Jae-Sung Lee (53′), the hosts came under real pressure for the first time in the second half a quarter of an hour before the end of the game: Barkok shot from around 16 meters, no problem for Nicolas. But on a counterattack a little later, the keeper was powerless: Barkok was undeterred and shot powerfully from a half-left position.
Mönchengladbach did not allow themselves to be discouraged. After an advance down the left side by N’Goumou, the ball came to Scally, who bravely shot from a position slightly to the right and scored with an arc to give the Foals a celebrated equalizer. “All in all, the situation is bitter at the moment, but we can build on our performance,” said Zentner about the situation of Mainz, who are second to last in the table with two points but can be overtaken by Cologne on Sunday.
Mainz welcomes Bayern, Gladbach in the derby against Cologne
Next matchday, Mainz will host FC Bayern in the top game (Saturday, October 21st, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.). A day later, the Rhine derby between Cologne and Gladbach takes place (3:30 p.m.).